One of the nagging issues that we’ve been facing is, ‘how to finish the upper parts (e.g., ceiling) of the Atrium.’ The issue relates to access, since the ceiling is 24 ft 6 inches above the finished floor. Actually, the issue relates to safety too, as anything dropping from above could land on someone or, if a person slipped or fell, they would land on 20 inches of solid concrete, which is not very resiliant.
We solved this problem today by constructing a temporary deck over the two bridges that covered the entire Atrium. This allows us to use regular ladders to gain access to the ceiling, where we will be putting lights and speakers, and then finishing the ceiling with the refinished redwood. In addition, the temporary deck increases the safety during construction since it reduces the risk of injury or damage relating to materials and tools dropping from the ground floor to the lower level.
Focusing on Safety
Craig Butcher, Chief Safety Officer for Teamwrkx, has monitored the safety relating to our project and he has stressed the importance of reducing hazardous situations. As well, Ram Reyna, a very good friend who works at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (formerly Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), identified opportunities for us to increase the safety at our job site in order to meet SLAC’s extremely high safety requirements. SLAC is hypersensitive to safety and incorporates leading safety practices with all of their construction, maintenance and ongoing operations.
We’ve considered multiple alternatives to increase the safety at our job site, which is somewhat dangerous to start with since it has a opening between the ground floor and the lower level. The high ceiling in the Atrium and the 9 ft 6 inch ceiling in the lower level combine to make a very tall Atrium.
Yesterday, when reviewing the site with Al DeBeaclair, Bryan had an epiphany regarding how to address the access to the Atrium. Cover the two bridges with a temporary deck, just like we covered the pool! Bryan and Al measured the space between the walls and found it to be just more than 16 ft wide and just more than 20 ft long. Perfect for using 4×8 sheets of plywood on 20 ft 2×8 joists.
The temporary panels could be constructed individually with duplex nails and deck screws. Al understood quickly and agreed that a temporary deck would be easy to assemble, and disassemble, and solve the access and safety issues.
Assembling the Temporary Deck
The delivery truck from Channel Lumber arrived at 9:30 am this morning. Chris Tritschler, our salesperson at Channel Lumber, promised that the materials would be delivered on Friday but he said he would do his best to have it delivered today. And it was!
With the materials on site, Al set up his chop saw in the driveway while his helper, Nep, worked with Bryan to disassemble the temporary wood railings around the Atrium. Then, Al and Nep measured and cut the 2×8 joists to size and assembled the first 4 ft x 20 ft frame in the driveway. Getting it in place was easy and then the 3/4 inch plywood went on quickly.
With the first panel in place, the second and subsequent panels were build inside the house.
Tomorrow, we will put temporary lighting in place so work can proceed in the lower level.